For the past few weeks i’d been feeling like i didn’t want to live anymore.

Well, i didn’t want to live a life like this in Malaysia anymore, to be precise. I wanted to go back to Japan. Or any other place where there was no haze. I didn’t want to deal with it because i didn’t know how to.

What could i do? I bought two of the most expensive air purifiers i could find online (because i didn’t want to drive out in the haze to buy), i sealed every single window in my house tight (I went batshit crazy when i saw one that was accidentally open the other day). I limited my groceries to the market downstairs and wore N95 masks when i had to go out of the door. I grounded Junya and myself at home for 3 weeks with our aircons and air purifiers blasting at MAX. I cancelled all his classes and most of my meetings. It was the freaking Apocalypse for me.

I felt like i wasn’t living a life a sane human was living. I may as well be in a jail in Nebraska and breathe better air.

Worse, i felt that i failed to protect my family. The danna had high fever and insanely bad headaches, Junya developed a mysterious rash, and i just felt like i may as well be dead.

But the worst of it all, was that there was no one to blame. Yes i can blame the people who burn the forrests in Indonesia, but so what? It still didn’t change anything. And everybody in my country was living the same life breathing the same shit air as i did. Complaints are futile. Suck it up, loser.

I wished we didn’t live here. It made me angry that we had to.

I honestly thought of fleeing the country and move temporarily to Japan with Junya alone (the danna had work so he could not be away. Plus he wasn’t as emotionally affected by the haze as i did. He probably thought i was totally overreacting). But i didn’t trust myself enough to do it without the husband. I will be alone. With Junya. Doing everything on my own.

But there’s no haze in Japan. Junya will be breathing the best air he ever could. We will stay healthy. I can bring him for picnics. I can just stay until the haze blows over and then return back. It will be okay. Some friends will help me out. We will be happy.

But we don’t have a house. I will have no job. I won’t be able to make any money.

No. Think of Junya. He can’t be living in a country like this!!! We don’t even know when this will stop!!!! WHAT IF IT DOESN’T????

Thoughts like that just kept spiraling down to the darkest bottom.

I was so emotionally shaken. One moment i thought, okay, think positive. Think happy. It will pass. All will come to an end. And then another moment anger engulfed me and i felt like i wanted to set fire to this country. Which… will make things worse. And then i’ll be like, okay, just change your mind, easy. Think about it from another angle. You are resting well now, spending quality time with your son, yes? And then it was all YES BUT EVERYONE IS SICK! NONE OF US WILL FEEL THIS SHIT IF WE WERE NOT STUCK HERE. I AM SLOWLY KILLING MY WHOLE FAMILY. But wait, ok at least you escaped 3 weeks of these crap weathers when you were in Japan, yes? You are so much luckier than many other people in this country!! Please be more thankful!!

Okay, calm down… take a deep breath.

Take a deep breath of SHIT AIR, you mean????????????

So yea. I couldn’t even take a deep breath without going crazy.

Like that. For 3 weeks.


And then we had a short business trip to Singapore, (which wasn’t really an escapade from the current situation, because Singapore was having equally shit of not shittier haze problem.)

And then all of a sudden.

On our way back from Singapore, this.

It would have been a very very very normal sight on a highway, a few months ago. But it felt like forever. Too long.

And it has now been 3 clear days with fluffy clouds and vaguely blue sky.

And my wretched heart loosens, all the woes disappeared into the clouds. I literally thanked the sky and prayed for it to stay that way.

It feels like i am ready to live a life again. It felt like i have just survived an apocalypse. I felt like the ending scene of Mad Max Fury Road.

I want to go to the pool with Junya again. I will air my clothes in the balcony again. I want to walk Champon in the park again. Even in the hot weather. It is okay.

But most of all, i will never take all these things for granted again. Clean air, blue skies, clear vision. We were too busy to appreciate things that we thought were a given. We expected them without any gratitude.

Until it’s gone.

Today i woke up, still in my bed, i peeked at the window. I smiled and said, thank you for this beautiful day.

I am not sure if it will ever come back and haunt me again, but until it does, i want to feel happy and thankful for when it is gone.